Just one week after the 2022 NBA Draft, Gary Parrish of CBS Sports has released his way too early mock draft for how he believes the 2023 NBA Draft will play out — well, at least the lottery selections.
According to Parrish, No. 1 is set in stone — Victor Wembanyama will be the pick, no matter which team is selecting. However, the debate for who comes after the french phenom will rage all season long.
“So let the debate start at No. 2 — where Scoot Henderson, Nick Smith, Dariq Whitehead or any number of American-born prospects could go in the 2023 NBA Draft,” wrote Parriah. “That, of course, will be determined over the course of the next year.
“But the first name we’ll hear come out of commissioner Adam Silver’s mouth next June is maybe the easiest thing to predict this far in advance of an NBA Draft since LeBron James was getting ready to start his senior year of high school. The first name to be called will be Victor Wembanyama.”
Moreover, there is still plenty to learn about the 2023 crop of prospects, and these rankings will likely look a lot different come June of next year. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic prevented plenty of live sports from taking place over the past couple of years, which has limited scouting to some degree.
That means there isn’t quite as large of a sample size on many of these players as in past year, and 2022 could have a big impact on how this class ultimately shapes up.
Nevertheless, Parrish gave it his best — here’s his 2023 NBA lottery predictions.
2023 NBA Draft: CBS Sports way too early lottery mock draft
1. Houston Rockets — Victor Wembanyama, PF/C, France
2. Oklahoma City Thunder — Scoot Henderson, PG, G League Ignite
4. Detroit Pistons — Dariq Whitehead, SG/SF, Duke
7. Indiana Pacers — Ausar Thompson, SG/SF, Overtime Elite
11. New York Knicks — Jarace Walker, PF, Houston
12. Atlanta Hawks — Cameron Whitmore, SF, Villanova
14. Minnesota Timberwolves — Amen Thompson, PG/SG, Overtime Elite